Evolving poll agendas

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/16/2019 12:51:00 PM IST

 For the BJP, the shocking defeats in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan has forced it to redraw its 2019 poll battle plans. Earlier, it was largely expected that the BJP would tom-tom its economic development achievement, a corruption-free government and an ‘unassailable leader’ in Modi. However, when these did not find much resonance in all the bypolls and the assembly elections held in which it lost badly, the party withdrew to the mandir agenda. It may be recalled that these cow belt states were instrumental in giving the BJP a large number of seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The other states that contributed to the BJP’s 2014 kitty included-Assam, where now, the anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill movement is gaining momentum against the party. The next state of Haryana is also veering away from the BJP as with Himachal Pradesh and Goa. The mandir plank is the BJP’s best bet in the cow belt . There is a demand for an ordinance to facilitate construction of the mandir. However, Modi has not yet given any indication of whether his government would issue an ordinance or await the Supreme Court ruling on the Ayodhya dispute. Falling back to religion is a sure recipe for division but there is a method to the madness. Looking at recent development from Sabarimala in the south to the disputed site at Ayodhya in the north, the BJP seems to be convinced that there are abstract notions of faith drive the country’s politics. The VHP wants the government over which it believes it has proprietorial control, to start facilitating building a Ram temple at the site the Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992. Adding heft to the demand, BJP’s recalcitrant ally and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray too pitched in favour of construction of the Ayodhya mandir. If Ram has become a pawn to be moved across north India’s poll chess board, Sabarimala’s Lord Ayyappa is rivalling him in the south. On Sabarimala, the BJP rejects the Supreme Court judgment permitting entry of women of all age groups. The Congress too rejects the court order but again, Congress being what it is, the party supports both the ban on women and also the entry of women into the Sabarimala. The BJP has now adopted the 10% quota for economically poor among the upper castes. All other political parties appear to agree with the quota since none of them would dare to differ especially in an election year. The quota issue is a desperate attempt as the insinuations around the so-called ‘confessions’ of alleged middleman in the Augusta-Westland helicopter deal Christian Michel. However, for the opposition parties the farmers’ crisis is a very important issue in the sense of votes. The Congress in particular will raise the Rafale deal, demonetisation, botched GST and lynch mobs running riot etc. The opposition is echoing the serious concerns raised by eminent personalities about how under Modi’s rule, an unprecedented and dire situation has arisen, as key institutions – pillars of the republic – have squirmed under the overbearing pressure of interference. The concerns involved how the Modi government has subverted key and vital government institutions such as CBI, CVC, RBI, ECI, CIC and RTI and Supreme Court to do the government’s bidding. It will not be easy to prevent the Modi government from making crucial decisions in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and for which the opposition are instead bickering among themselves. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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